‘Cautious optimism’ as the trend towards a reduction of deaths in water continues.
The most recent figures from the National Water Safety Forum Water Incident Database (WAID) show that in 2018, 263 people lost their lives in accidental drownings in the UK.
Despite a small increase in the number of drownings since 2017 the overall trends suggest reason for ‘cautious optimism’.
Deaths from accidental drowning have fallen in the three years since the National Drowning Prevention Strategy was launched. However the figure show a rise in the number of suicides in water.
In 2018, as in previous years, men are disproportionately represented in the statistics, with 230 males dying in fatal drowning incidents in the UK.
River and beaches continue to be the most common locations for fatal drowning incidents. Last year, 74 people drowned in rivers and 73 on or near beaches.
Chairman of National Water Safety Forum, George Rawlinson,said:
“We are past the three year mark of the National Drowning Prevention Strategy and it is clear that members of the National Water Safety Forum and many other organisations are making good progress throughout the country to keep people informed of the risks, and working together to prevent drowning.
“The overall reduction over the three years is a good indicator that our efforts are paying off and fewer people and families are affected by drowning, but there remains much to be done in order to meet the collective ambition of a future without drowning.”
WAID compiles statistics from across the UK from a number of sources including inquests, and breaks these down into deaths by activity, age, location type and geography, to give those working in prevention a clearer idea of where to target interventions.
A full copy of the UK Annual Fatal Incident Report for 2018 can be viewed at: www.nationalwatersafety.org.uk/waid/reports-and-data/
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